Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Part 1 The Frame: A summary of what I have gained from the exercises

Reviewing this section has been useful. I have been taking photos with an SLR for more than 30 years so much of this has been revision. I did learn about sensor size in my DSLR versus the 35mm frame size and the impact on the focal length of lenses. Luckily my camera can work with both digital format and 35mm format lenses so I am still able to use the macro lens from my 35mm kit.

The project on focus allowed me to become more familiar with using my camera on manual outside of the studio (I use a hand held flash meter to manually set exposure). I am now able to use the techniques of  aperture and shutter priority more confidently and  the camera's built in light meter to measure exposure. Having said that, I probably  use programme mode more often than I should.

The exercise on photographing movement has taught me how to use the multishot function on my camera and also the benefits of using a fixed focal length lens to ensure consistent framing from a fixed viewpoint.

The single most important thing I have learned from this section is about composition; placing objects in the frame. Up until now I have relied on intuition about what 'feels' right when composing images without really knowing why the image succeeds or fails. Like a number of  people, I have copied and absorbed  ideas that I have found attractive and then become bored with 'samey' images. The ideas of static and dynamic balance have never been explained to me before and I am looking forward to learning about using elements of graphic design in part two. (I am finding The Photographer's Eye a useful resource to extend the course materials)

I have started to take photographs for the first assignment. I am trying to resist the temptation to rush at it.  Keeping to a self imposed schedule will stifle my creativity and lead to disappointment so I am going to be flexible. Knowing that I need to build on ideas suggested by the contrasts given for the assignment, I have started a list of subjects in my rough book and have found asking friends and colleagues for ideas quite beneficial. I am writing up my blog for each attempt at an idea in order to record the process of working towards what will hopefully be a successful image. If it fails, then I will have recorded why and avoid making the same mistakes in future.

I am just waiting for the weather, I don't want to take too many photographs indoors..........................

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